New released footage shows controversial Japan goal against Spain was right to stand
A goal that will go down in Japanese (and German) footballing folklore
A newly released 4k image appears to show that Japan's controversial second goal in their shock victory over Spain was right to stand.
In one of the most dramatic nights in World Cup history, Japan beat Spain 2-1, meaning that Germany crashed out in the tournament group stage for the second time in a row, despite their 4-2 win over Costa Rica.
Alvaro Morata had put the Spaniards 1-0 up against Japan, before Ritsu Doan levelled matters just after half-time.
And then, just 142 seconds later, Ao Tanaka got a crucial second to complete a stunning turnaround.
But the goal was initially chalked off as the officials believed the ball had gone out of play despite Kaoru Mitoma's best efforts.
After a lengthy VAR check though, the decision was overturned, and the Japan players could celebrate all over again.
On some angles, it looked like the ball was clearly out...
But a high-quality new image shows that, even though it was monumentally close, the officials came to the correct decision and the goal was right to stand.
Germany were eliminated by 𝐭𝐡𝐢𝐬 much. pic.twitter.com/NC8Xp6pLLg
— B/R Football (@brfootball) December 1, 2022
Everyone's favourite refereeing expert Peter Walton explained on ITV: "There’s a misconception in law that just because the part of the ball that is on the floor is over the line is out - well it clearly isn’t because it’s the curve of the ball. We see it often with corner kicks where it’s over the line but not quite over the line.
"In this instance, what the VAR is looking for is the evidence to suggest to the referee that the ball has clearly left the field of play and on the evidence that we’re seeing, he doesn’t have that in front of him."
Some took to Twitter following the controversy to demonstrate just how deceiving camera angles can be.
— James Sharpe (@TheSharpeEnd) December 1, 2022
Thanks to their win over Spain, and their opening round win over the Germans, Japan won Group E and are through to the last 16 of the World Cup.
They will now take on Croatia on Monday, with Spain, who finished as runners-up, taking on Morocco.
The group stage comes to an end on Friday, with the knockout matches getting underway on Saturday.